tv News 4 This Week NBC December 10, 2011 5:30am-6:00am EST
welcome to "news4 this week." >> they are stories that may have touched your heart. while others have made you any a think a bit. hi, everybody. i'm jim handly. we are going to show you some of the more interesting local stories making news this week. among them, a fairfax county father fights for his country overseas leaving a promise to his kids up in the air. how people near and far stepped up to help make sure his dream was fulfilled. and while most schools are going high-tech, why one local middle school's computer-free teaching is a big hit with parents. plus, why some police in prince george's county take time off from fighting crime to make sure the holidays are a little brighter for some deserving children. we begin today with patrols for con artists who hit shopping malls during the holidays. last year fairfax county police
recovered nearly $200,000 worth of stolen merchandise. they are at it again this year. erica gonzalez reports from tysons corner mall where thiefs are doing it all over again. >> reporter: fairfax county police say they already recovered nearly $30,000 worth of stolen merchandise this season. but the thieves aren't just local. at $10,000 rolex watch. that's what one man tried to get away with by using a fraudulent credit card at a high-dollar store at tysons corner last week. the store clerk called them after they said that the suspect's behavior was off. that's why retail anti-theft teams are hitting the streets. some are in regular uniform but most will be undercover. dressed like anybody else. >> what we are looking for now in tysons corner, which is the out-of-state crime ring coming into this a. area. tysons corner, fair oaks, fairfax county in general is known for a very wealthy population. >> reporter: what do the
professional con artists look like? police say they tend to go for store corners. they are always looking over their shoulder. they are trying to steer clear from shoppers and cops alike. dawn had her credit card abused and is more leery of her purchases this time of year. >> make sure i don't sign my credit cards. that way i put -- check signature so that way they will ask me for my i.d. and for the most part that works. >> reporter: police say the typical shoplifter has evolved. they are now using fake credit cards. and fake currency. working their hot items into the black market in states as far as away as florida, north carolina, and pennsylvania and new york. that's why police urge shoppers to be aware of their surroundings. don't dress extravagantly. only carry credit cards you will use, and don't leave your purse unattended. police say that last year the iphone was a big ticket item. this year it still appears to be electronics and costly clothing. at tysons corner, erica
gonzalez, news4. while some are working to track down thieves, one officer in montgomery county helped save baby's life while on the job. officer marvin walker got a call for a child not breathing in silver spring. he arrived to find the 19-month-old blue in the face. officer walker performed cpr until the child began breathing again. paramedics arrived and took the baby to the hospital. walker says he doesn't consider himself a hero. >> heard it plenty of times today. i'm a humble person. you know, i had a job to do and -- i did it to my best ability and, you know, thank god that the outcome was good. >> reporter: investigators say that a prescription medicine may have caused the child to stop breathing. the little girl is expected to make a full recovery. a fairfax county man is considered a hero for his fight for our country overseas but it is a victory here at home that is making him glow with pride. the iraq war veteran found out
that a promise to his children over a tree house will now be able to become a reality. as derrick ward reports, help came in from down the street and across the country. >> it has automatic the amenities you expect in a tree house. easy access, practical furnishings, a great view, and, of course, a setting. what this tree house didn't have is the blessing of fairfax county's zoning officials or approval of an anonymous complaintant who brought the issue before the zoning board. >> less and less to believe it was any of my neighbors. i don't think it was neighbor within a couple of blocks. >> reporter: he learned early on he didn't need a buildg permit, special permission from the fairfax county zoning board was needed and on this first attempt at getting that variance he was denied. now before he left on his last deployment to iraq, he promised his sons he would build them a tree house upon their return. >> my whole deployment i must have made hundreds of sketches. what can i do to fulfill my promise to build a tree house?
we had two great trees. >> reporter: while the pear and son's project seemed destined to become firewood a fire had been lit in the community and all across the country. another military man on the west coast who he never met gathered thousands of petition signatures. a lawyer represented him pro bono before the zoning board. another neighbor donated landscaping to help the tree house blend a little better and his sons were not to be left out what would eventually become a living civic lesson. the petitioning process. >> the boys got 166 signatures. all from local neighbors. >> reporter: zoning appeal date arrived and this time the board members who were present agreed unanimously that the tree house could indeed stay. a happy ending. a neighborhood a little closer the the boys learn ad few things about local government and soldier stays true to his word to his sons. >> this was a promise to them. >> reporter: we heard the old saying a man's home is his castle. apparently a kid as tree house, well, that holds the same, too. in fairfax county, derrick ward,
news4. >> they will have to take the tree house down in five years after materials, permits and other fees, the cost of that tree house exceeded $1,000. mark says it is a small price to pay for his sons' happiness. several other local veterans are the subject of good will in the form of free home makeovers. the decorate a vet event is the brainchild of a local businessman who owns a landscaping company and has family members who have served. volunteers donated their time and businesses gave supplies to help transform five houses. >> looks like santa's workshop. >> appreciate all the companies doing what they they do and their time and -- i have enjoyed having them. >> the work is coordinated through american legion post 130. those in the d.c. area who keep pounding the pavement looking for day labor now have a more efficient way of finding work.
resources are now all in one place with poe ten hal employers coming to them. news4's megan mcgratds has more from centreville. >> reporter: he would normally have to wait outside on the fringe of the parking lot when trying to find work. today he is inside the new labor resources center. a storefront operation at the centreville square shopping center. cardona signed in listed his skills and then waited to be matched with an employer. >> here it is a lot easier and it is -- lot better system. >> very difficult when there is a group of people running and you never know who will end up getting the work. yeah. very confusing time when that happens. >> reporter: the old system was chaotic. day laborers would gather on a grassy strip near the shopping center and cars would drive up and immediately be surrounded by men looking for work. >> what we see on the streets right now is a car that comes up and many cars coming up behind us honking their horngs because somebody is stopping in the middle of the street and causing
a security concern. and then a number of guys, desperate work, rushing to that car. center that's going to get the negotiations going on the street corner, off the street corner into the center. >> the organization. scared of people. people running at you. they didn't know what to think. i think this is a lot better organized. it will work out a lot better. >> reporter: the center is open monday through saturday. plenty of parking, bathroom and lots of seating. on this opening day things were slow. by 9:30 about two dozen workers checked in. but employers were hard to come by. there were two and both were affiliated with the center. ed dugan sits on the board of directors. he tired two painters this morning they are painting in my house. something i used to do but that was years ago when i had more hair and it wasn't gray. i had them do landscaping, yard work.
and they work hard. and i appreciate what they do. >> reporter: center employers and volunteers were out in the community handing out these fliers trying to spread the word about the center. their hope is that more workers and employers will come here in the coming weeks. megan mcgrath, news4. a family in fredericksburg is celebrating a miracle homecoming. still ahead, how this pooch was finally found after wandering thousands of miles away. but first, when we return, why not everyone is happy about a no[ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation, so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪
alexandria's waterfront, city planners see a boutique hotel. this citizens group would tear it down for parkland instead. opposition to the it satisfies waterfront vision are multiplying in old town, alexandria, as a vote to redevelop the watter front. it would connect and indrese open space along the potomac and add public piers but also allow the owner of three warehouses to redevelop the site into hotels or housing. will come. we are just trying to control and manage that change in a positive way in a way affordable and legally defensible. >> opposition to part of the proposal led the city counciling to delay a vote originally slated for last spring and appoint waterfront work group to iron out the differences. then last month the group called citizens for alternative alexandria waterfront plan put forward a competing idea. founders say the development permitted in the city's plan would ruin the water front's value at an historic rezblors the city seems not to recognize
sufficiently or adequately the value of old town as a national historic landmark. >> this is the last chance to hope for, to work toward, more open space on the river. if the zoning goes through. >> reporter: the alternative plan calls for the city to buy the warehouse for $100 million and park land. they also proposed building a museum to bring in new revenue and the city officials have sharply criticized their ideas as fiscally and legally unfees zblibl we don't have $100 million to buy the property. >> reporter: a separate citizens group called waterfront for all formed to back the city's plan. >> we need a economically viable waterfront. the city's plan is economically viable and does that. it does provide park space and breen space. it also does provide a way for the city to bring in tax revenue. >> reporter: the debate next to the waterfront work group. it will make its own assessment and and forward a recommendation
to the council by the end of the year. julie carey, news4, alexandria. holiday tradition that also looks to help boost business in arlington. the shirlington village tree lighting was turned into a community event. horse and carriage rides were offered. those who took part donated canned food to the arlington food assistance center. the tree lighting event also helped highlight restaurants and small businesses in shirlington. >> three, two, one. >> what a site. the first family helped fright national christmas tree on the ellipse. a new tree was planted this march to replace the one blown over by high winds back in february. it is only 26 feet tall. but it will continue to grow. at the tree lighting event there were a host of characters. you saw santa, performances by rodney atkins. kermit the frog was also on hand to help with the festivities. the first lighting of the
national christmas tree began with president calvin coolidge back in 1923. if your exercise plans have you deciding between the pool and treadmill, we have just the remedy. still ahead on "news4 this week, dwts treadmill that allows to you run under water. why one virginia school is resisting the trend to
many school districts across the country rushed to offer the latest in technology for their students. one school in northern virginia has made a conscious choice to keep high-tech gadgets out of the hands. students until upper middle school. jane watrel has our story. ♪ >> reporter: these students are getting an education that some may consider quaint. ♪ >> reporter: there are no
computers in the classroom. there's plenty of creativity. it is all part of a century-old curriculum used by the waldorf crescent school in arlington. ♪ >> reporter: one that emphasizes physical activity and hands-on to zblern we can see the outside covered in the bark. >> our belief is that if you started them young with the computer they would become dependent on the computer and it would limit the possibilities of the things that they can imagine can create and will do in their lives. >> reporter: having computer-free classrooms until middle school isn't the only unusual part of waldorf's educational philosophy. teachers move each year from grade to grade with their students. ensuring a continuity of learning. parents say that it gives them peace of mind. >> i love it. i love it. the teacher and the kids really get it. they really -- each kid. >> reporter: identify each child's challenges. waldorf students no only master
math problems on paper, but math and crocheting and knitting as well. >> as the child becomes more skillful at knitting and not dropping stitches they are helping their mathematic sense, sense of numbers you have to count. you have to make sure that you have one stitch in each stitch. >> reporter: life lessons teachers hope these private school students will learn through their heads, hearts, and hands. in arlington, jane watrel, news4. >> some students in bethesda had a unique way of showing support for one of their favorite teachers. 25 children from our lady of lords catholic school had their hair cut off. it was all part of a locks for love event to support a teacher that has been battling leukemia since may. each student donated ten inches of their hair. the hair will be used to make wigs for other sick children in need. well, water is a perfect place to exercise, we know.
you don't have to just swim or do aerobics. now you can run under water. it is called the hydroworks pool. it is less impact on your joints than running on a traditional treadmill. it is used bier pro-athletes for rehab and people just looking for a good workout. >> my name is leslie hastings. i have been with the results in using the pool for about a year now. >> reporter: it is called the hydroworks pool. essentially what it is, hydrotherapy pool. endless pool that has a treadmill in there. you are able to do the same thing on the treadmill except that it is less impact on your joints. great for muscle recouperation. great for post-injury. >> i tried it for the first time and i just loved it. >> i normally run on the under water treadmill. i have water heavyweights i can use, i can work out my arms at the same time. >> we have this weightless dumbbell here.
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they have to fill, a position. then they put together a specification for the ideal candidate for that position. then they seek those candidates. >> what is the ideal candidate look like? >> it depends on the job. usually, it will be somebody that matches up to the job. it is sales, ideally they know the product area they are selling in the customers they will be selling to, and are a top performer in sales. >> what is the vetting process like? >> we meet our candidates face to face. if we cannot, we do phone interviews. we do reference checks. that is the most important part. >> what are the dos and don'ts that job-seekers absolutely have to know? >> do not go into an interview casually. it is not casually conversation -- not a casual conversation.
you aren't selling yourself to a company that might make your current -- you are selling yourself to a company that might make your career skyrocket. know your strengths. know how to sell yourself. know how to close the interview at the end. do not to leave the interview saying i hope to hear from you soon. >> waters of annex and advice that you would give entrepreneurs -- what are some anecdotes and advice that you would give entrepreneurs and job-seekers? >> make sure that your skills are not old. you want to keep your skills up- to-date in the hottest areas of technology. >> how do you do that? >> hopefully, going to work for companies that are in those niches. if not, you can take classes. you can get certified in different areas. there are a lot of things you can do. >> how is it that a candidate in i.t. can